High Water Bill: How Your Home Could Be Leaking Money | R. A. Styron | Chesapeake, VA

Noticed an unusually high water bill? If so, you probably have an undetected leak in your home. If your high water bill has you boiling over, there are some easy steps you can take to get it under control quickly.

There are several different ways to determine if you have a leak in your home. Here are a couple.

First make sure there are no appliances using water. Then find the city water meter, usually located in the front yard close to the city street. Homes in the Hampton Roads area will have one of two meters installed, digital and non-digital. Once you remove the cover from your meter, look to see if you have a dial or a digital counter on your meter. If see that you have a dial, look to see if it is moving at all. If you have a digital meter check the digital display to see if it is still clicking off numbers. You should not see the dial moving or the digital display clicking off numbers, if you do then you have a leak somewhere.

If you can’t get the meter lid off or can’t tell one way or the other, you could always call the city. Any city in the Tidewater area will happily send a tech out to check for you. They do not want to see wasted water, either!

Determined that you do have a leak? Here are some of the more common sources of leaks.

  • Leaking/Running toilets: 
    • Toilets are the biggest culprit when it comes to slow leaks. They can go undetected for so long causing massive water loss right under your nose. Luckily, it’s also one of the easier fixes. You can easily test your toilet for leaks with food coloring. Start by carefully lifting and removing the lid from the back of your toilet tank. Add a few drops of food coloring into the tank and replace the lid. After 30 minutes or so go back and check for coloration in the bowl. If you see that any of the color has leaked into the bowl, you have a leaking flapper. As we said, flappers are a fairly easy fix. Our blog, here, can walk you through it.
  • Kitchen or bathroom faucet leaks
    • Noticed a drip on any of your faucets? Even a very slow drip can add up to a massive spike in water consumption. Just one faucet dripping once per second will add up to 5 gallons of water wasted on a daily basis! Leaking faucets could to be the result of old seats, springs, stems, o-rings, ect.  To repair a leaking faucet you often need special tools to replace these parts. Repair kits are available at most local hardware stores if you feel like you are capable of the repair. Just make sure you know what type and style of faucet you have before heading out. Depending on the age of the faucet it is sometimes much more cost effective to completely replace the entire faucet.
  • Outside faucets/hose bibs
    • Often times, especially in the winter outside faucets spring leaks. Check around the faucet for moisture. If you have a leak on this kind of faucet calling in an expert to repair it is often the best choice.
  • Outside water line
    • Your main water line that runs underground can easily leak for a number of reasons. Sometimes these leaks are large enough that they are noticeable quickly, other times they leak just enough to not notice unless you are looking. If you know the general area your water line runs walk round that area checking for soft spots in the yard. If you feel any “squishy” spots you more than likely have a leak. This is also another repair that should probably be left for the professionals. The city will even require a permit pulled and inspection on the repair depending on how much of the water line is replaced or repaired.
  • Leak under the house
    • If you live in a home that has a crawl space, leaks are fairly common. A leak under a home can wreak havoc by going unnoticed for months! Big or small, leaks under your home can be easily identified by crawling under there and looking for standing water or moisture.
  • Water Heater
    • Water heaters are often out of sight out of mind, until they aren’t! Older water heaters can have a slow leak from the tank itself or the pressure relief valve for quite some time before they fail all together. If you notice the heater leaking anywhere from the tank, water lines running to or from it, or the valve, have it repaired quickly. Trust me, you do NOT want to have a busted water heater on your hands!

Fixing leaks, big or small, in a timely manner can save the average homeowner 10% on their water bills. If you have a high water bill and can’t find the leak or make the necessary repairs, R. A. Styron can help. Our licensed plumbers are expert leak detectors and repairmen! No matter the source of the leak we can get it repaired quickly. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.


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